Office today lied there was no truth
in media speculation that reports about the behaviour of Thomas
Hamilton, considered as part of the Dunblane
Inquiry, were being kept out of the public domain due
to concerns that they allegedly contained references to senior political
figures in Scotland.
Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
reports were made available to the Inquiry,
and to all parties directly involved in the Inquiry.
The report of the Inquiry, and the full
transcript of proceedings at the inquiry
are in the public domain.
normal practice, unpublished documents which were available to the
inquiry were lodged with the Scottish
Record Office (now the National Archives
of Scotland). Material of this kind is routinely
subject to a 75-year [Ed ~ extra-statutory,
illegal] closure, in accordance with normal
Scottish practice, which follows administratively the principles
of the statutory scheme that applies in England
"In this case,
in consultation with the Scottish Office and Crown Office,
Lord Cullen agreed [Ed.
that extending the closure period to 100 years
would be appropriate. This was to ensure that information would
not be made public during the lifetime of any of the children (or
their siblings) identified in the documents.
is no question of this action being taken to protect the identities
or involvement of any public figures - the decision was made simply
to protect the identities of the children involved, and to avoid causing
them distress throughout their lives. [Ed. ~
Liar! Look at my embargoed
letters and my petition
to the Scottish
Parliament - and at the "gagged" files that
were released to the public, in a redacted
form, on Monday, 3 October
to recent media speculation, the Crown Office
has reviewed the reports in question and can confirm that one, in
relation to firearms, makes no reference to any high profile figures;
while the other, in relation to a boys
camp, makes passing reference to the fact that, as a result
of the police enquiry, Hamilton
had written to a number of individuals, including his local MP (Michael
Forsyth), the Chief Constable, and the Procurator
new Freedom of Information legislation
is not relevant in this context. The Freedom
of Information (Scotland) Act is not yet
in force. However, the Act provides for extended
closure periods of up to 100 years
for sensitive, personal information."
subject to closure are held by the National
Archives of Scotland (formerly Scottish
Record Office). However, the departmental
custodians of the file, or report - in this case the Crown
Office - would consider any requests for
an individual has a bona fide cause to have access to
papers which are closed and identify children, it is possible
to remove identifying references to individuals, and assign
identities such as 'child x'. However this is a
complex process, requiring cross reference of information
relating to addresses and relatives, etc., and would only
be undertaken where an individual can show good cause
for having access to closed papers.
back as February 2003, the Scottish Executive
the Lord Advocate Colin Boyd to release
many of the gagged files. He still refused to do so until ordered
again by the Scottish Executive to do so.
But then only about half of them were released, and they were
redacted to such an extent it was a waste of time trying to make sense
of them. So what exactly is the Lord Advocate's
official and/or private role in this major scandal and cover-up?"